12141
France
Three Faces of France: Paris, Lyon and Provence
From the cosmopolitan wonders of Paris to the artistic legacy of Lyon to the ancient traditions of Provence, enjoy the diverse bounties of France on this cultural tour de force.
Rating (5)
Program No. 12141RJ
Length
13 days
Starts at
3,499
Flights start at
900
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13 days
12 nights
27 meals
11 B 10 L 6 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Paris
D
Best Western Premier Opera Faubourg

Morning: Arrivals at Charles de Gaulle airport and independent transfers to the program hotel in Paris. Please note that rooms are not generally available until early to mid-afternoon, so you should plan to drop off your luggage at the hotel and then take some time to explore Paris or relax and have a leisurely lunch on your own. There are Paris maps available at the hotel, and your Group Leader and hotel staff will be present to provide recommendations and directions.

Afternoon: Check in at your hotel and take the afternoon to unpack and relax. We will gather in our private meeting room in the early evening where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: A neighborhood walk will introduce you to the area around the hotel.

DAY
3
Paris & The Louvre
Paris
B,L
Best Western Premier Opera Faubourg

Activity note: Today's activities include walking and standing in the museum at your own pace. Use of the Paris Metro, which is comprised of walking and use of unavoidable stairs.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will have a lecture titled, "History of Paris: Capital of France." Next, we will take a field trip by coach to enjoy a panoramic overview of Paris' monuments and most famous sites, while your Paris expert continues a discussion of the city's history and its architecture throughout the ages.

Lunch: At a local restaurant near the Louvre.

Afternoon: We will take a field trip to the Louvre, the largest royal palace built in the 16th century. It was enlarged in the 17th century and turned into a museum after the French Revolution. Visit the Louvre at your own pace. We will then return to the hotel using the Paris metro.

Dinner: On your own.

DAY
4
Montmartre, History, Art & The Bohemian Life
Paris
B,L
Best Western Premier Opera Faubourg

Activity note: Today's activities include use of the Paris Metro, which may comprise of unavoidable stairs. On foot visits to Montmartre and Sacre-Coeur contain walking on pavement and cobblestones for up to 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will have a lecture titled, “French Society and France’s Political System.” We will then depart on foot and use the Paris metro and the Montmartre funicular on a field trip to the Basilique du Sacré Coeur to examine the history of its construction, the amazing murals that decorate its interior – not paintings, but intricately constructed mosaics – and take in the views over Paris from the city’s highest geographical location.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Montmartre.

Afternoon: We will continue exploring the tiny streets and squares of Montmartre. Discover the meeting places where the artists gathered at the end of the 19th century and learn about the neighborhood’s Bohemian traditions. We will then return to the hotel on the metro.

Dinner: On your own.

DAY
5
The City Island & Rive Gauche, The Latin Quarter
Paris
B,L,D
Best Western Premier Opera Faubourg

Activity note: Today's activities include use of Paris metro, which may comprise of unavoidable stairs. Visits to the City Island and Latin Quarter on foot includes walking on pavement and cobblestones for up to 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will have a lecture titled, "May 1968." Learn the history and long-term effects of this eventful period in Paris. We will then take a field trip to discover Medieval art and architecture in Paris. We will explore the Île de la Cité, the historic heart of Paris featuring Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dame Cathedral, led by your Paris expert.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: A field trip will take us on a walking exploration of the Latin Quarter, where you will find the biggest university complex in France and one of the oldest universities in the world, La Sorbonne, which is dedicated to Literature, Languages, Civilizations, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Walk the streets of this neighborhood to examine the medieval foundations of the quarter’s churches and small pedestrian streets, Cluny Convent, La Sorbonne, and the Pantheon. You may return to the hotel on the metro at your leisure.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: View Paris from the Seine River, a completely different perspective, during a boat cruise.

DAY
6
High-Speed Train to Lyon & the Beaujolais Wine Region
Lyon
B,L,D
Hotel Best Western Charlemagne

Activity note: Today's activities include travel by train with luggage.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will take the TGV, the high-speed train, from Paris to Lyon. We will then head out into the picturesque villages and vineyards of the Beaujolais. The Beaujolais region is the most southern part of the Burgundy vineyards. Wine has been produced in this region since Roman times.

Lunch: At the Beaujolais vineyards.

Afternoon: Learn what differentiates Beaujolais from other red wines during a tasting. We will then depart by coach to check in at the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

DAY
7
Old Lyon
Lyon
B,L
Hotel Best Western Charlemagne

Activity note: Today's activities include use of the Lyon subway and tramway, with some unavoidable stairs. A visit to the Lyon historic district on foot includes walking on pavement and cobblestones for up to 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will have a lecture titled, "History and Economy of the City of Lyon." Next, we will explore the old town of Lyon on foot, from the Place de Terreaux to the Place de Bellecour. Walk through the fascinating “traboules." Although a couple of Old Lyon's traboules date from Roman times, most were constructed by silk weavers in the 19th century to facilitate the transport of silk in bad weather. Resistance fighters found them equally useful during WWII. Take the funicular up to La Fourvière to enjoy the view over the city.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Take a short boat ride to the new architectural developments of La Confluence that contrast the historic center of Old Lyon. Then take the Tramway to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own.

DAY
8
Lyon, The Gastronomic Capital of France
Lyon
B,L,D
Hotel Best Western Charlemagne

Activity note: Today's activities include use of the Lyon subway and tramway, with some unavoidable stairs. A visit to the markets of Lyon on foot includes walking on pavement and cobblestones for up to 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will take a field trip to experience the food traditions of Lyon, known as “the stomach of France” on a walk through the market stalls frequented by local and restaurant chefs alike. Learn about the local ingredients, how they are used and the origins of regional customs.

Lunch: Sample a variety of Lyonnaise specialties, including wine, coffee, and tea.

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time in the city.

Dinner: Light dinner at a café.

DAY
9
Aix-en-Provence
Arles
B,L,D
Hotel Le Calendal

Activity note: Today's activities include a visit on foot to the village, which involves walking on pavement and cobblestones for up to 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart by coach for Aix-en-Provence and then Arles.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Aix-en-Provence.

Afternoon: Enjoy a walking tour to discover this historic city of Aix, the heart of Provence. Discover the old religious and civil districts around the cathedral and the city hall, XVII and XVIII century mansions façades and typical squares with their fountains and the Cours Mirabeau. We will then have a field trip and on-site lecture titled, "In the Footsteps of Cézanne." Explore the artist's birthplace and the landscape that inspired many of his paintings. Next, we will continue on to Arles.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

DAY
10
Arles & the Camargue
Arles
B,L
Hotel Le Calendal

Activity note: Today's activities include a visit to the village on foot, which involves walking on pavement and cobblestones for up to 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The coach will depart for Saintes Maries with luggage. There will be an on-site lecture on the mythical Saintes Maries de la Mer and the Camargue landscapes and traditions. You will learn about the history of the Camargue: France's Wild West. We will start at the mythical church (no inside visit possible as the Church is being renovated) and proceed away from the coast to better understand the Camargue's landscape and wildlife. We will then take a field trip to the Ornithological Park, where you will have a chance to catch a glimpse of the marine birds that call this area home. Perhaps you will even sight the elusive pink flamingo!

Lunch: At Manade Cavallini, a typical ranch or bull farm located in the heart of the Camargue serving local specialties.

Afternoon: We will explore the manade and learn about daily life on the ranch, with its roots in the Camargue's traditions and history.

Dinner: On your own.

DAY
11
Arles
Arles
B,L
Hotel Le Calendal

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will have a lecture titled, "Arles: France's Roman Roots in the South of France." We will then take a walking tour of Arles to learn about the games enjoyed by the Romans in the amphitheater, a splendid and complex piece of architecture which still remains standing in the middle of the city.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will take a field trip to the Arles Antiques Museum.

Dinner: On your own.

DAY
12
Avignon & Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
Arles
B,L,D
Hotel Le Calendal

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart by coach to Avignon, where we will explore the Medieval city on foot. There will be an optional tour to the Palais des Papes, where will have a chance to enjoy a walking tour to learn about the history of papacy in Avignon. If time allows, you can then invidually visit the Saint Benezet Bridge, known as "Le Pont d'Avignon" and made famous by a children's song. We will then continue by coach to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, a Provençal village where Van Gogh spent the second to last year of his life, after being forced to leave Arles.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Afternoon: We will take a field trip to St. Paul de Mausole's hospital where Van Gogh was confined.

Dinner: Farewell dinner.

DAY
13
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: Departure by coach to Marseille International Airport (MRS). If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your information packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!